So despite all the reports that the Yankees will not be able to contend this year, here they are with a record of 15-9, 2nd in the AL East, 2.5 GB the Red Sox, and they have the 3rd best record in the AL (Red Sox .720, Texas .640, Yankees .625).
Kept hearing about all the lost power and they won't score any runs...the Yankees are 1st in the AL, and 2nd in MLB in HRs with 35, only 1 behind the Braves. They are 5th in runs scored in the AL, 7th in average (that needs to come up they were hitting .280 prior to the TB series and now are just hitting .254 as a team). 5th in OBP and 3rd in OPS. In short, the offense while not miles ahead of anyone, is still competitive, despite all the injuries. They only have 9 SB as a team that needs to change. Gardner and Ichiro should each have 9. Gardner for all his speed may be one of the worst baserunners/basestealers in the league, with some of the worst instincts ever.
Their pitching has been coming along as well. After really bad starts from Nova and Hughes to begin the season, Hughes has now put together 3 really strong performances. The bullpen has been much better of late, and everyone that was question Mariano looks like a complete idiot now.
Yes Jeter and A-Rod will be out until after the All-Star break. And quite possibly A-Rod will be suspended before then anyway for his involvement in the Biogenisis thing (MLB has documents that appear to prove A-Rod has been purchasing HGH for a while now...no surprise there). Yes Granderson and Teixeira are clearly not going to be back by May 1st, but they should be back sometime this month. And to be honest I'm okay with them taking their time, the offense is not suffering and this team of scrapheap guys is really coming together now. I don't want to mess with that chemistry.
Love the way Hafner is being used by Girardi and you can't argue with the production. Even in a part-time role he will hit 30+ HRs for the Yankees this year. I am concerned about how Vernon Wells will perform after Granderson gets back. I think he will be the DH at times and see playing time against lefties, but his ABs will be cut way back. Hope he can make that adjustment.
Romine and Nuno get the call up because of the injuries to Cervelli and Nova. Phelps slides in the rotation and Nuno will be used out of the pen. I hope both of these kids get some decent playing time to show everyone what they are capable of. Nuno could be a future #4 or 5, and Romine can keep the position warm for a couple of years until Sanchez is ready.
If some how the Yankees hang on through this season and make the playoffs, Girardi and Cashman should both be recognized. Girardi should win Manager of the Year and Cashman GM of the year. I often feel both of these guys do not get enough credit because they play for the high-salaried Yankees. They are going 40-50% without half of their day-to-day lineup out there. To further this argument, the Braves are widely considered the best team in baseball right now (even though Detroit just demolished them). Take away the Braves starting 3B, SS, 1B, & CF, and now the starting C and #5 starter would they even be close to what the Yankees are? No way...